Best Table Saw Fence Reviews
Comparison of the Picks
We’ve all used a table saw without a fence at some point. Doing so typically provides lackluster results. Everything cut on a fence-free saw is likely to be inaccurately cut, and that can introduce a number of issues to any project that utilizes a table saw. That’s where a table saw fence comes in. It works as a guide as described on topsawreviews, and allows us to accurately cut our materials. It’s a necessary part of woodworking.
Even if you’re using a fence at the moment, it may be a good idea to get an upgrade for your table saw fence. The fancier the guide, the better the resulting work is.
In this guide, we’ve reviewed some of the best table saw fence upgrades on the market. Our reviews cover table saw fences in several categories, and each fence has its own strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, the Vega PRO 50 is praised by the most consumers, but it’s also expensive. In comparison, the Shop Fox W2005 may not have the most support from consumers, but it’s an incredible value.
Some of the fences that we’ve listed here are more compatible than others, and some of them extra features that make cutting projects a lot easier. For this reason, it’s best to look through each review, and then choose one that best suits your needs and budget.
We’ve worked our way through the various options on the market, and we’ve chosen the top five table saw fences available. We’ve labeled each item in a way that allows you to find what you’re looking for with ease. We’ve listed a best selling fence, a value fence, our favorite option, and a couple of extra fences that work well as alternatives.
The following review covers the best selling table saw fence on the market. Consumers have voted with their wallet, and this is by far the best option in their eyes. We have a slightly different opinion, but you can’t beat support from a mass audience, and you can confidently buy the Vega PRO 50 as your first fence. If your current fence is a bit worn out, this one will make a great upgrade, too.
Vega PRO 50 Table Saw Fence System
The Vega PRO 50 is a high end fence that’s bound to impress. It’s a bit pricey, but it has the most consumer support out of any other table saw fence system on the market.
The Vega PRO 50 is known for having an incredibly strong clamping system. It’s not going to budge if too much pressure is applied to it. This allows users to accurately cut materials without worrying about the fence slipping. This is especially useful for cutting hard materials that require more force to cut.
A micro adjustment system allows the Vega PRO 50 to be manually adjusted for some of the most precise cuts possible. In fact, the system can be adjusted to get within thousands of an inch of your desired cutting length. This feature isn’t present on many lower end models, but it makes projects that demand precision a breeze.
The Vega is also a highly compatible system. It is proven to work with several of the most popular table saws on the market. This includes models made by Delta, Craftsmen, and Makita. However, it is a fairly heavy fence system. We don’t recommend purchasing it for use with lightweight table saws. Even if it can be connected without drilling any new attachment points, it’s probably too heavy, and that can cause some dangerous situations.
To round off its feature list, the Vega PRO 5 was built with durability in mind. The unit is made from a high-quality steel, and it’s unlikely to break. So, while it’s a more expensive fence, you won’t have to replace it.
This is a fence that is great for users that can afford it. It costs around $800, but it allows for some of the most precise cuts possible, and it’s made to last. People who can’t afford it are better off looking at one of our other top picks, though.
The following review covers our top pick. It doesn’t have as much consumer support as the Vega PRO 50, but its features and price are balanced perfectly, and we think it’s the best option for general use.
DELTA 36-T30 T2 30-Inch Fence and Rail System
This durable fence is roughly half the price of the Vega PRO, and it offers just as much reliability.
The DELTA 36-T30 is made of steel, and it’s unlikely to break. It’s also designed for very repetitive projects. The fence utilizes a steel tube design that allows it to effortlessly slide across the rails of most table saws. This means that it requires less effort to manipulate, and that can be a life saver during projects that require hundreds of cuts or more.
The DELTA can easily be fine tuned to keep cuts within 1/64 of the desired cutting length for a project. That’s not as impressive as the Vega’s micro adjustment system, but it’s plenty of precision for the vast majority of projects.
The DELTA 36-T30 is also capable of performing ripping and squaring cuts with ease. If ripping and squaring isn’t what a project requires, that’s not a problem. This unit also has attachment points for jigs and feather boards. That allows this fence system to adapt to the vast majority of projects, and it’s a great option to use as an upgrade for more outdated systems.
In our opinion, this is the best deal on the market. It doesn’t have the micro adjustment system that the Vega has, but it’s extremely flexible. It can be used for most projects, and it can handle them efficiently.
Our next review doesn’t cover a fancy table saw fence. It’s simply the best value available. There are better options, but those options all cost a lot more. With this next offering from Shop Fox, you’ll get the most bang for your buck. It might not impress a woodworker with deep pockets, but it can get the job done for the blue collar man with a family to feed.
Shop Fox W2005 Classic Fence with Standard Rails
As a less expensive fence, users should expect it to have less features than the most expensive fences on the market. However, the Shop Fox W2005 provides a lot for its small price tag.
The surface of the Shop Fox W2005 is made of plastic. That allows it to effortlessly glide across the surface of the table saw it’s being used with. That can help a lot with making precise or repetitive cuts. However, the plastic surface has one major drawback. It’s not as durable. If the user accidentally over cuts, the fence can be damaged beyond repair. Users have to be a lot more cautious with this fence to prevent that from happening.
The Shop Fox W2005 also has a 25 inch maximum rip length. This isn’t as high as the Vega that can cut things up to 50 inches, but it’s plenty of room for most small or medium projects.
One feature that really stands out is its lift-off design. If users ever need to remove the fence, it can simply be detached and picked up. There aren’t any complicated attachment pieces to remove.
Overall, this is a fairly standard table saw fence. It’s great for beginners, and it will work well for experienced users who can’t afford a more expensive option, but there are better options out there for those who can afford them.
The last two reviews on our list are almost as good as our top three picks, but they fall short in some areas. They’re still great saw fences, but they don’t have the feature to price balance that would escalate them to the top of our list.
They are great alternatives to our other suggestions, though. If you can’t find the fence upgrade you want in our top three, these next two suggestions are definitely worth looking at.
Shop Fox W1716 Aluma-Classic Fence with Standard Rails
The Shop Fox W1716 fixes the main issue that affected the Shop Fox W2005. It replaces the plastic surface with steel and aluminum. This makes it more durable that the W2005, but it increases the price by quite a bit.
The rest of the features are nearly identical to the W2005. However, it does allow for 30 inch cuts. That is 5 inches more than what the W2005 was capable of. The lift-off design of the W2005 is present in the W1716, and it features the same single lever clamp system.
The reason this didn’t replace the W2005 for the best value fence is its pricing. It costs a bit more than the W2005, and it only offers a little more durability and cutting length. It’s still one of the cheapest options on this list, but the added price doesn’t seem to be worth two minor improvements. However, it’s great for people that like the design and budget friendly nature of the W2005, but need a more durable option.
Delta Power Tools 78-919BT2 Biesemeyer Fence
This is the cheapest suggestion on our list. It’s a bare bones fence that can get the job done when you don’t have another option. It doesn’t provide as much value as the Shop Fox options, but it is affordable for most people.
For starters, this is an easily adjusted fence. It uses a series of knobs and levers to adjust its settings. It can’t be dialed in to really tight tolerances like the Vega or our top pick, but it’s accurate enough for most jobs.
It’s designed to fit several models from Unisaw’s most popular product lines, and a lot of users have been able to make it fit their Craftsmen saws. That requires users to modify their table saw, but that’s not too difficult to do.
One of the main things to look out for with this fence is quality control. Biesemeyer was bought out by Delta, and it seems as if Delta’s Taiwanese manufacturing plants have had some issues with quality control. A lot of consumers complain of superficial damage occurring during shipping, and sometimes units have shipped with issues that affect the functionality of the unit.
However, it’s also been praised for handling repetitive projects well, and it’s cheap enough that casual woodworkers can buy it as a great starting fence. Eventually, it will need to be upgraded with a better table saw fence.
Best Table Saw Fence Buying Guide
We’ve already shown you the best options on the market, but how do you know which one to choose? Which one is perfect for you?
That’s where this section comes in. We’ll help you understand what makes a fence necessary, and we’ll give you several pointers that will help you figure out what type of fence will suit your needs best.
Why Get A Fence?
Fences are expensive investments. The cheapest suggestion we made was over $200, and it wasn’t even one that we’d consider to be the best value. A lot of people opt to use their table saw without one because of the high price that accompanies a proper fence upgrade. However, that’s a horrible idea.
Wood is extremely expensive, and the price is always rising. Inaccurate cuts waste wood, and that means that you have to spend more money to buy more wood. A few misplaced cuts can easily cost as much a proper fence, and a lot of misplaced cuts can easily drain your wallet. So, it’s actually cheaper to just buy a fence in the first place.
You also have to worry about safety. When you work without a fence, you increase the amount of times you have to get close to the saw blade. In a lot of cases, that leads to serious injuries.
In short, you don’t have to use a fence, but it is cheaper and safer than just eyeballing your cuts.
What Is Absolutely Necessary When Buying A Fence?
The two things that are the most important to look at are rip capacity and compatibility. Compatibility is the easiest to understand right from the beginning. You need a fence that works with your saw. You can buy the best fence on the market. It won’t help if it doesn’t fit your saw.
The rip capacity is something that requires a bit of thought. You have to decide what types of tasks you expect the fence to handle. If you’re cutting doors out for a home remodeling project, you won’t want to use a fence with 15 inch rip capacity. It simply won’t be enough to cut out your project. However, a rip capacity of 36 inches or higher is more than enough for that task.
It probably sounds best to just buy a fence that has a massive rip capacity, right? That’s false. Rip capacity increases the price of fences dramatically, and that’s without any other features being accounted for. We recommend finding a fence that has just enough rip capacity for the projects you’ll actually be doing. If your fence has too much rip capacity, you’re just paying for something you’re not using.
After you figure out any compatibility issues and rip requirements, you need to look at how well it slides and how easily it adjusts. You can easily use a stiff fence if you’re not going to use your table saw very often. However, you need something a lot smoother if you’ll be using it everyday. A stiff fence can put a lot of strain on the human body.
The ability to adjust a fence is crucial. Woodworking projects often require precision. You may not need something that has zero tolerance settings, but you do need something that is accurate enough to make parts that actually connect properly.
Should You Get A Manual Or Electric Model?
Manual models don’t have much going for them besides price. They’re a lot cheaper than electric models for obvious reasons. However, an electric fence can reduce the amount of work you have to do dramatically. It’ll push your materials for you.
The best way to determine if you need a manual model or an electric model is to look at how frequently you’ll use it. If you’re just trying to do a home project or two, you can easily get away with a manual model. You can pick one up a lot cheaper, and it’ll still work well for you.
If you’re going to use your saw all day long, you want to buy an electric model. You’ll need to invest more money into an electric one. The cheaper models aren’t usually very good. However, it’ll make your workday a lot easier, and you’ll be able to focus your energy on more important tasks.
Compatibility With Accessories
Like most tools, table saw fences have a lot of accessories available for them. A fence that allows for jigs and feather boards to be attached is a lot more useful than one that doesn’t allow it. You’ll get more use out of your fence if you buy one that is compatible with accessories.
Should I Get A T-Square Or Standard Fence?
Again, this is determined by what you’ll be doing with it. Both of them have their own uses.
A standard fence is exactly what it sounds like. It’s just a sliding fence that is great at making accurate cuts. However, you’ll have to pay more attention when you go to cut out precise shapes. That’s where a T-Square fence comes in.
A T-Square fence is used to cut out rectangular shapes with astounding precision. It holds the wood in a way that makes it optimal for cutting right angles. If you’re going to be cutting out a lot of squares, this is a must have item.
Q: Can’t I just use the fence that came with my saw?
A: You can use a factory shipped fence, but they’re usually not very good. We recommend buying a high-quality aftermarket table saw fence to ensure that you’re work is as accurate as possible.
Q: Is it okay to buy a cheap fence?
A: It’s okay to buy anything. However, cheap fences are going to break, or they’re going to make very inaccurate cuts. That can lead to you wasting a lot of money on materials. It’s best to just buy a good fence from the start.
Q: Will an off-brand fence work just as well?
A: You can find good fences from less reputable brands, but its typically not a good idea to do so. A reputable brand will have great customer service ratings, awesome return policies, and they’ll have made the product right the first time. Since their quality is typically higher, you probably won’t even have to contact them. If something does happen, at least you’ll know that a reputable company will help. An unknown company probably won’t be as helpful or generous.
We can’t recommend the DELTA 36-T30 anymore that we already do. It offers the precision and strength of the bestselling fence on the market, and it’s half the price. It can handle almost any project you can throw at with all of its features. That’s an incredible value. You’re probably not going to find a better deal. There are some options that offer a little bit more, but their price tags don’t justify the small improvements. A good example of this is the Vega PRO 50.
Our other suggestions are all great, too. If the DELTA 36-T30 doesn’t meet your needs, one of the other suggestions should. We definitely recommend starting with the DELTA first, though.
That concludes our buyer’s guide for the best table saw fence upgrades on the market. We’ve tried to pack as much information about the individual fences into this guide as possible, and we really want it to help you find the perfect table saw fence for you.